Actresses I Would Watch Read a Phone Book…

…or text a Tweet.  Hell, these are the actresses who I would follow on Twitter if I had a Twitter account, though I know they are way too hot and talented to subject themselves to something as belittling as Twitter…right?

This is The Schleicher Spin’s tribute to my favorite lovely ladies of the silver screen.

Who are you favorite actresses?  You know what I’m talking about – the women who are often the only reason you are willing to sit through a film you would otherwise avoid…the women you’d be willing to watch in just about anything.

Well, here are mine:

The Gold Standards of Talent:

The BlondeNaomi Watts

Naomi Watts

British-born, Australian-raised Naomi Watts should put a patent on her American accent because it’s perfect.  Ever since nailing the role of a tortured actress in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Watts has gone against the grain by shunning the limelight, aging naturally and beautifully, and carefully choosing roles over the past decade that put her in a position where she can constantly challenge herself and work with the best directors.  She’s keenly maneuvered the big studio system while keeping one foot firmly placed in the world of independent and avant-garde filmmaking.  She’s been royally snubbed by the Academy four times (failing to receive well-deserved nods for Mulholland Drive, King Kong, The Painted Veil and Fair Game) though she did land a nod for 21 Grams.  Nobody does emotional turmoil waiting to explode underneath a beautifully fractured veneer like Watts, and though I know she’s not a real blonde…I can’t wait to see her play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominick’s adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde.

The Brunette – Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei

Ever since accidentally winning an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei has become the Best Supporting Actress working in Hollywood and has matured from a screwball sidekick into a writhing sexpot.  Tomei has starred in a lot of fluff, but she’s earned street cred in her niche – meaty supporting roles in gritty independent films (In the Bedroom, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and The Wrestler) which routinely land her nods from the adoring Academy.  Personally, I’d love to see her land a role on Boardwalk Empire.

The RedheadAmy Adams

Amy Adams

Over the past few years Hollywood has tried to shove Amy Adams down our throats as America’s Sweetheart in leading roles in absolute tripe.  What was that one where she went to Ireland to find love…oh who cares?  Luckily for us, Adams is smarter than that, and in between collecting paychecks she has found a niche similar to Tomei doing dramatic and challenging turns in Oscar-bait films like Doubt and The Fighter which have made her an Academy favorite in the Best Supporting Actress category.  Adams has incredible range across broad comedies (loved her in Talladega Nights) and quirky dramas (Junebug and Sunshine Cleaning) that makes her a hot commodity.  I can’t wait to see her in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming, and presumably dark as hell, The Master.

The Total SexpotScarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

That figure, those pouty lips, that husky voice, those dry line deliveries…Scarlett Johansson is the total package.  She’s been the object of desire of everyone from Michael Bay (The Island) to Christopher Nolan (The Prestige) and has been the alter ego of both Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Woody Allen (Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona).   She broke my heart when she married that no-talent ass-clown Ryan Reynolds, but she saw the error of her ways and dumped him not too long after.

The Ladies with that Je ne sais quoi

…these are the actresses who might not be considered traditional knock-outs, but they posses a certain inner sexiness and they act the hell out of any role they are given stretching the limits of their craft.  They’re chameleons on-screen, often feline-like in body language, and they either have funny accents or do funny accents very well.  They’ve got that special something you just can’t quite put your finger on…

Cate Blanchett – Essential Roles: Elizabeth, The Aviator, Notes on a Scandal, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hanna

Cate Blanchett

Vera Farmiga – Essential Roles: Down to the Bone, The Departed, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Up in the Air

Vera Farmiga

Marion Cotillard – Essential Roles:  La Vie En Rose, Public Enemies, Inception, Midnight in Paris

Marion Cotillard

The Ingenues:

…these are actresses who are just one BIG role away from shooting to the top.  Two are former child-stars:  Kirsten Dunst, who was overexposed early in her career and is primed for a comeback (Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia just might be her breakthrough) and Anna Paquin who is overexposed now (please, it’s time to stop letting True Blood suck the life out of your movie career).  The other two, Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan, recently landed Best Actress nods, and are on the cusp of super stardom while playing that “sad-eyed and eternally cute” bit from opposite sides of the pond.

Kirsten Dunst – You may have forgotten how good she was in…The Virgin Suicides and The Cat’s Meow.

Kirsten Dunst

Anna Paquin – Contrary to True Blood, she actually is a good actress – she won an Oscar at age 11 for The Piano! – as evidenced in The 25th Hour and The Squid and the Whale.

Anna Paquin

Michelle Williams – She had a breakthrough year in 2010 with her supporting role in Shutter Island and her lead role in Blue Valentine

Michelle Williams

Carey Mulligan – She was the only reason the insipid An Education was even tolerable, and she added an air of class to the surprisingly entertaining but slick Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  The eerie Never Let Me Go belonged to her wistful loneliness.

Carey Mulligan

And now for
“Hey, baby, those other actresses mean nothing to me.  I was only joking.  You know I still love you.  You’re the only one for me.  I just wish you’d get a better agent.”
  • Halle Berry
  • Jennifer Connelly
  • Penelope Cruz
  • Laura (Elena) Harring
  • Tea Leoni
  • Eva Mendes
  • Emily Mortimer
  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Amanda Peet
  • Natalie Portman
  • Charlize Theron
  • Evan Rachel Wood

Older women who’ve still got “it”

  • Patricia Clarkson
  • Laura Linney

Exotic Beauties – who recently popped up in HBO series:

  • Janina Kavankar
  • Sibel Kekilli

French Actresses:

  • Melanie Laurent
  • Clemence Poesy

List compiled by David H. Schleicher

Share your list of favorite actresses below in the comment form!


4 comments on “Actresses I Would Watch Read a Phone Book…

  1. Jonny says:

    I love your picks here. Naomi Watts is amazing especially. My newer favorites, as you’ve mentioned them are Michelle Williams, Carey Mulligan and Amy Adams. We have very much the same taste. I would add, from my own personal selection, Helena Bonham Carter. She’s completely entrancing to me still to this day.

    Jonny – I liked HBC is Fight Club, but not much else. She is a good actress no doubt though. –DHS

  2. ccyager says:

    Thank you for NOT including Ashwarya Rai! Siskel and Ebert were all ga-ga about her and I could not understand what they saw in her that made her, in their eye, “the most beautiful woman in the world.”

    Although they’re dead now, I’d include Kate Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. Each was a beauty in her own right and highly talented actress. I’d watch either read the phone book….fully dressed. A woman’s sensuality doesn’t necessarily need nudity or scanty underwear to be fully realized.


    Cinda, I don’t even know who that actress is! Can’t argue with your Hepburn comments. –DHS

  3. […] David Schleicher’s latest at The Schleicher Spin takes a look at some of the screen’s greatest ladies:                       […]

  4. what a fun post! haha, I must agree with you on Scarlett as I have always referred to her as my “Movie Wife!”

    Amy Adams! Great pick. No Kate Beckinsale or Rachel McAdams? surprised! there was a similar 15 question meme floating around the blogosphere. You should do one! It’d be a fun read! Here’s mine as an example:

    Enjoyed reading this! Love the ladies!

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